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      Does an AVO Appear on a Police Check?

      Does an AVO show on a Police Check?

      When police apply for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO), often the first question that many people ask is whether the AVO will appear on a police check.

      Often people are concerned about the consequences of an AVO being made against them.

      As such it is crucial to speak to a specialist AVO lawyer who can assess your circumstances and whether an AVO being made against you can have any unforeseen consequences.

      Does an AVO Appear on a Police Check?

      An AVO is not a criminal charge which means it will not show up on a police check.

      However, if you breach the AVO and are convicted, then it will appear on your criminal record. A breach of AVO can occur if you contravene any conditions of the order.

      If you are sentenced to a term of imprisonment for 12 months or more for a breach of AVO, this will be on your criminal record permanently. If you receive a lesser sentence then the conviction will stay on your record for 10 years pursuant to Section 8 of the Criminal Records Act 1991 (NSW).

      If you have not been convicted of any criminal offence in relation to your AVO, it will not be on your criminal record. An AVO will not be disclosed in a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check if you have not breached the conditions of the AVO.

      If you are facing an Apprehended Violence Order, you should speak to an experienced lawyer for AVO cases who can advise you on the best way to defend the case.

      What does a Police Check Show?

      A police check reveals any criminal convictions that a person might have recorded against their name. A police check is a national document so it is accessible to all states regardless of where your conviction was recorded.

      A police check shows:

      1. Criminal Convictions;
      2. People who are convicted of traffic offences in court;
      3. Criminal cases which are yet to be determined by the court;
      4. If a person is on a good behaviour bond.

      Consequences of an AVO

      An AVO can have a number of consequences including placing restrictions on your employment, ability to travel and obtaining certain licences.

      As such it is crucial to ensure you receive advice on how to beat an AVO at an early stage. Having the order dismissed could save you from significant hardship.

      Will an AVO affect my Job?

      An AVO can affect your employment if your role involves contact with children, a security licence or a firearm licence. It can also disqualify you from working in law enforcement or jobs that require government security clearances. 

      Does an AVO affect Working with Children’s Check?

      When applying for a Working with Children’s Check, a part of the process involves a national criminal check. If you are successful with your application, you can work with children for 5 years. During this time, there is ongoing monitoring for new records.

      An AVO can prevent you from obtaining a Working with Children’s Check. If the protected person in your AVO is a child, it will almost certainly stop you from receiving a Working with Children’s Check. 

      Will an AVO affect my Visa?

      An AVO may lead to your Visa being refused or cancelled on the basis of ‘bad character.’ If you are applying for Australian Citizenship, your application may also be refused. In order to enter or remain in Australia, you must be of good character.

      Section 501 of the Migration Act 1958 sets out the character requirements that the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) uses to determine whether you are of good character or not.

      It does not matter if you do not have a court conviction or sentence because of the AVO, your Visa or Citizenship application can still be repealed by the DHA. The DHA has access to other independent and authoritative resources which provide them details about the AVO made against you as well as any other evidence of family violence.

      According to the Department, family violence includes:

      • Physical violence
      • Sexual assault
      • Verbal or emotional abuse
      • Controlling behaviour
      • Stalking
      • Technology based abuse
      • Financial abuse
      • Abuse of the elderly
      • Forced isolation or economic deprivation, including dowry-related abuse

      The DHA makes a holistic assessment of your conduct when determining your character. They will look at whether you accept responsibility and understand the impact of your violence on the victim and wider society. They will also evaluate what steps you have taken to change your behaviour and rehabilitate, for example attending alcohol or domestic violence programs. 

      Can you get a Firearms Licence with an AVO?

      Under Section 11 of the Firearms Act 1996, a firearm licence must not be issued to a person who is subject to an AVO. This includes if you have had an AVO against you in the last 10 years.

      The defendant does not need to be found guilty of any offence against the AVO for this prohibition to operate.

      If you have a valid firearms licence, it will be automatically suspended once police apply for a provisional or interim AVO against you. You will then be required to immediately surrender any firearms to the police. 

      Security Licence

      An AVO may cause your existing security licence to be cancelled and any application to be rejected if the Commissioner of Police believes you are not a ‘fit and proper person.’

      If the license is a Class 1F or P1F which authorises you to carry a firearm, you may not be able to operate under that licence since your firearms licence will be suspended or cancelled.

      If you are found guilty of breaching an AVO, your security licence may be cancelled and an application may be rejected, especially if the breach involves assault, stalking or intimidation.

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